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Tonight's Lineup vs. Toronto and Other Notes

Olie Kolzig will start in net tonight for the Caps and is expected to face the Leafs' Vesa Toskala. Coach Bruce Boudreau also made some tweaks to his forward combinations. Matt Cooke will make his Capitals' debut on the second line, while Eric Fehr, Quintin Laing and John Erskine will be healthy scratches. Cristobal Huet will back up Kolzig.

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Cooke-Fedorov-Semin
Fleischmann-Laich-Gordon
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

Defense
Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Schultz-Eminger

Some other notes from the a.m. skate:

*Cooke, a rugged, energetic left wing, said he's excited about playing with two of the most skilled players on the Caps, if not the entire league.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "They know they can dump the puck in and I'll go get it. Obviously, I feel like I can chip in offensively. But I can't get away from my game and that's playing hard and physical and getting on the forecheck and creating some turnovers."

Coach Bruce Boudreau cracked that Cooke will be working on his Russian between now and gametime.

"We wanted to move Brooks back into the middle," Boudreau said. "Cooke is a forechecking demon, and that's what we need there."

*Boudreau also addressed the awkward goaltending situation. Again.

"Olie is going today, and after that we haven't made any decisions," Boudreau said. "Tomorrow I'll think about who will start on Monday. It's going to be a day-to-day thing, rather than a month-long chart."

"It's not win and you're in. Right now we've got three good goaltenders. But for now, the brunt [of the playing time] will go to Olie and Cris. We have a lot of games in a short period of time, so it's not like anyone is going to be sitting a long time."

*Boudreau also praised Fedorov's play - he had a pretty assist on Mike Green's power play goal last night in Newark - as well as his presence on the bench.

"There was the time when Kozlov scored," Boudreau said, "Sergei didn't go congratulate Kozlov, he went and congratulated Eric Fehr, who just had a good chance beforehand and made a good change so Kozzie could get on the ice."

"That leadership goes a long way," Boudreau added. "Especially for the young Russian guys. Sergei had to have been their idol growing up. He commands such respect in the room. He's really added a lot in such a short period of time."

The Leafs, meantime, rallied from a two-goal third period deficit in Tampa last night before losing in OT, 3-2, on a goal by Dan Boyle.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 1, 2008; 11:54 AM ET
 
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